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Report Says Airlines Gave Passenger Data to FBI after 9/11
VOA News
01 May 2004, 14:47 UTC
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A published report says several major U.S. air carriers gave federal authorities personal information on millions of passengers in the days immediately after the 2001 September 11 terrorist attacks.

The New York Times newspaper says American, United and Northwest airlines were among the carriers that turned over an unprecedented number of passenger records to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the FBI.

Airlines have routinely provided passenger information to the FBI, but the requests usually are related to a particular flight or travels by a specific individual.

The newspaper quotes an unnamed FBI official as saying the Bureau requested the records under its general legal authority to investigate crimes. But he says there is no indication the data ever produced any significant evidence about the September 11 plot or the 19 hijackers that carried out the attacks.

The records include information such as the person's name, address, destination and credit card number.

The FBI says in airline passenger information does not have the same federal privacy protection as financial and health records, but the news has raised concerns among privacy and civil rights activists.